A man has been seriously injured after being struck and pinned by a car that has destroyed the front of the South West Rocks Post Office.
The 26-year-old was waiting outside for his wife around 10am Thursday, September 29, when a Holden Commodore reversing at speed jumped the Prince of Wales Avenue footpath and smashed into the shopfront, ramming him into the wall and trapping him underneath.
Police have confirmed that the vehicle was being driven by an 81-year-old man who attempted to drive away from the scene but was stopped by members of the public.
He was arrested and taken to Kempsey Hospital for mandatory testing.
The injured man was treated at the scene before being taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Witnesses say the driver appeared to heavily accelerate before reversing into the post office, trapping the man between the car and wall.
He then fell to the ground, with visible injuries to his face and neck, as the vehicle accelerated forward. It was driven approximately 200m along the road where it was stopped by bystanders outside Balls Butchery.
Pharmacist Ian Burnett works next door to the Post Office and was first on the scene and rolled the injured man into the recovery position.
"I did what anyone would have done. He was choking because of the blood in his mouth or throat," he said.
"You don't want to necessarily move someone who may have a spinal injury, but you have stop them choking."
Mr Burnett said the injured man was clearly worried about his wife and tried to get up, but he and a doctor who arrived on the scene kept him stable.
"You don't come to work and expect that sort of thing to happen," he said.
Owner of the post office Nick Mulchrone was inside when the accident happened.
"I heard an almighty crash, and the car came into the post office," he said.
"There were alot of people screaming. Then he took off. With all the debris I couldn't see anything outside."
Mr Mulchrone called the ambulance as residents and holidaymakers threw towels off their balconies to help treat the man.
The Post Office is in the town's CBD, and on a busy school holiday morning, there were many who witnessed what happened, including children.
This isn't the first time a car has driven into the post office at South West Rocks, but it is the first time someone has been injured.
Previous owner Graham Eagleton, said it felt like de ja vu.
Approximately 15 years ago, a vehicle accidently drove straight into the shopfront. Ian Burnett was there to witness that incident, too.
"The air bag had gone off and I thought the car was on fire, there was so much smoke," Mr Burnett said.
"The police sergeant's wife [at the time] and their three children in a pram, used to sit outside when she came in to get her mail. On that day of the accident, she was late," Mr Eagleton said
Officers from Mid North Coast Police District established a crime scene, which will be examined by specialist police from the Crash Investigation Unit.
An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash is underway and anyone with information, including mobile phone footage, is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Local road diversions are in place. Motorists are urged to allow extra travel time or avoid the area.
The accident comes just days after the death of former pro-surfer Chris Davidson following an alleged assault outside the South West Rocks Country Club.
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